My grandfather had a way with animals, especially birds. My grandparents lived on an island in Southern Florida and my grandfather loved to fish. When we would return home in the afternoon with a catch, he would clean the fish on the dock. I can still smell the saltwater in the air and the fish as we would lay them out. Obviously the birds could too. My grandfather’s favorite was a three-foot-tall blue heron he called Charlie. He had a broken leg from one of the hurricanes and he came each day to see my grandfather. Their appointment became so regular that my grandfather would leave fish ready for him in the refrigerator for the days when he didn’t go out to fish. As time went on, my grandparents moved to a different house on the island. My grandfather was sad to leave Charlie, his wild blue heron with the broken leg.

One day after a fishing trip, he was driving the boat in from the gulf and out of the corner of his eye, he saw his friend following above the boat. Charlie had found him. Charlie had come home.  

There were many other fishermen on the island…likely better fisherman than my grandfather, but Charlie trusted my grandfather, and day after day my grandfather showed up for him. Charlie followed my grandfather because they had a relationship. He relied on my grandfather, and my grandfather was prepared for him, prepared with what he needed. 

Our God can be trusted like that. Let’s ask God to help us create a pattern in our days of coming home to Him. He is waiting daily to nourish us if we will look to Him. He longs to be the consistency that our lives lack. 

My grandfather passed away this week, and his service is today. I will talk this morning about the things I know to be true of God that I saw displayed so naturally in my grandfather. He was patient and kind; firm but gentle; a picture of what unconditional love embodies; he was the shepherd of our family and we were his delight. 

My youngest asked me the other day if Jesus made me sad, because often as I talk about Him to my kids, I start to cry. Not on purpose…I just love Him so much that my eyes flood. 

It was the same way when my grandfather looked at us. He loved us so much that as we told him about our lives, his eyes would flood with tears. 

I believe that is the depth to which our God loves us, but to know that sort of love there must be relationship. That relationship is waiting for you, waiting each and every day for you to say, “Lord, I am coming,” and to follow Him home. 

HLLF, Kirstin

Kirstin Ricketts

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